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Sharing My Knowledge on Vedanta – 3
It is intended to be a series of articles on the basics of Vedanta, gradually going deeper with details. Please comment, ask questions related to articles. Your comments are a thermometer for my writing skills and content. I will try my best to write on topics that interest you. Hope you like my articles.
1. Anudhaka- Chatushtaya: Four primary considerations in relation to Vedantic texts. They are Officers, Visayas, Plans and Relationships.
2. Officers: Eligible aspirants. The A person’s personality, qualified to study Vedantic texts.
3. Discretion: Ability to distinguish between eternal and eternal. (Understanding that Brahman alone is eternal and that worldly objects including body, mind and intellect have become real) This is the base/foundation for climbing the spiritual ladder.
4. Apathy: Prepare to lose anything at any time. (Recognizing that everything except Brahman has a beginning and an end. A firm conviction of Viveka will support Vairagya)
5. Uprama: Ability to withdraw oneself from worldly attractions. (Still be a part of the world, being aloof. When Viveka and Vairagya are strong, Uprama is easy)
6. Titiksá: The ability of the mind to objectively perceive all kinds of pain and suffering. Equanimity (ability to forgive and forget and not to be affected / carried away by obstacles on the spiritual path)
7. Solution: Single-pointed ness. Ability to focus on the spiritual path. (If the mind and senses are properly managed, for such a person has developed the ability to be detached from worldly attractions, satisfaction is an easy process).
8. Mumukayutvam: desire for liberation. (A strong desire to get out of the cycle of birth and death.)
Blame of worldly pleasures…
– They have a beginning and an end – They cause pain – They take energy – They ultimately give a feeling of incompleteness – They carry the cycle of birth and death – Because of attachment through pleasure, memory and illusion.
Difference between Dama and Sama.
Sama is mastery over the mind. Mind can travel faster than light and in all directions. Managing thoughts and keeping the mind as our servant is a challenging task. Keeping the mind away from the lusts of worldly attractions and entering the spiritual path is Sama. (The mind starts from experiencing happiness, to the recollection (recollection) of past happiness, yearning to experience it again, and when it is not possible, becomes restless, loses clarity, increases anxiety, thereby losing peace and moving away from the spiritual path) .
Dam means mastery over the senses. Information passes from the senses to the mind. The senses are the gateways/gates of the mind. If these senses are trained in the right direction, it is not difficult to manage thoughts and master the mind. Observing and controlling the senses is the first step on the spiritual path to realizing Brahman.
Comparison between ‘superstition’ and ‘faith’
‘Blind faith’ and ‘faith’ are two very different terms.
Superstition is a concept, Temporal in nature and not necessarily true. It lacks logic and destroys itself in difficult situations. My personal experience is this: When I was a child, I believed that my parents would be with me forever. On the contrary, when he passed away, I realized that my belief was not true. The sudden death of my father left me wondering ‘where did father go?’ ‘Will it happen to everyone?’ ‘When will I go where?’ “Why did I come here from where?”
Faith / faith is a belief. My faith in God and abiding, strengthens me (the ego of being humble) leading from the immediate to an inquiring mind capable of intellectual discernment forever, leading to inner peace. Faith is simply believing in something ISEven if you can’t see it or prove it.
From a spiritual perspective, superstition is a belief based on pure ignorance. Before Shankaracharya, people had blind faith, rituals were performed without understanding the meaning of Vedanta. Once we learn our philosophy, it becomes clear that mere ritual is not the goal of life. It is a means of steadying and concentrating our mind and leading us to a higher goal – self-realization.
Unfortunately, many people have these kinds of beliefs, they get carried away by the popularity of something and have no idea what principles or fundamentals those beliefs are based on. They are attracted to wealth, fame and popularity due to their belief in what they believe to be the truth in life and are diverted from the spiritual path.
Blind faith reminds me of blind obedience. When a child is brought into such a situation and the parents are suddenly out of the picture, the child cannot live independently as he/she is raised to follow directions. Faith, on the other hand, is like a child who is raised to use his critical, analytical, logical thinking and make choices in his life.
Regular consistent spiritual practice, study of Vedanta, single focus on Viveka, Vairagya, and self-examination will take us to higher heights on the spiritual path under the guidance of the Guru and by the grace of the Lord.
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